Do I need a visa to travel to the United States? If you are preparing your trip to The United States, surely you have asked yourself this question.
The short answer is that Estonian citizens do not need a visa to travel to the United States for pleasure or business trips for less than 90 days because Estonia participates in the Visa Waiver Program. Instead, you need to apply for the US ESTA.
It is a simple procedure but it is essential. Without ESTA, you will not be able to enter the country. In this article, we will tell you how to proceed online.
Who does need to apply for ESTA to travel to the United States?
First of all, you should know that you can only request the ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization, or Electronic Travel Authorization System) if:
- You have a valid passport from a country that is part of the Visa Waiver Program, or the Visa Waiver Program. Estonia is one of them.
- Here you can see the complete list of countries.
- Your trip is 90 days or less.
- Your passport is valid throughout the stay.
You can show that you have a round trip ticket. In other words, it is a one-way ticket and exit ticket to another country. The reason for your trip is for pleasure, business trip, or stopover in the United States (even if it is a stopover to fly to another country).
If you meet these requirements, go ahead! Anyway, remember that the approved ESTA is essential to enter the United States. However, the final decision still depends on the airport authorities.
When can I apply for ESTA?
The ESTA can be requested up to 72 hours before traveling, but many times it is not automatically approved, so we recommend filling with a sufficient timeframe.
You should also remember to book travel insurance as soon as you have flights scheduled. It is essential since health expense in the United States is costly.
The ESTA is valid for 2 years from the moment it is approved. If during that time, you travel back to the United States, you will not have to reapply as long as your passport has not expired.
In case your passport has expired (or you change your name, gender, or other identifying information), you must request the form again and fill it with the updated data.
How to fill ESTA form, step by step
Everyone, including children, has to fill out the ESTA form. However, you can choose whether to order a single ESTA or order some of them for a group trip:
- First of all, you must go to our website and select the language you prefer.
- Click in the ‘New Application’ and then choose whether you prefer ‘individual request’ or ‘group applications.’
- Accept the terms and click on ‘Confirm and continue.’
- Fill in the information correctly. Here, you will have to enter your personal information, your passport number, your employment information, and more.
- Our platform finally gives you the option to upload a photo of your passport
- In the next step, we will ask for information about the trip, such as the address where you will be staying during your stay in the United States (it can be a hotel, a private house, etc.).
- More Personal questions: Here comes the strangest part of the process, a series of questions ranging from usual questions (as if you suffer from some illness) to more tricky questions about the criminal history. For most people, the answer will be ‘no’ to everything, but if you must answer ‘yes’ if it describes you. If the authorities know you were lying, it will be impossible for you to enter the border.
- As soon as you send the request, the system will generate a number. Write down or print the application number, as you will need it to check the status of the process, or if at any time you want to modify the data.
- Make the payment. You should enter your card information (or PayPal) and pay the fees.
How do I know if I have been approved for ESTA?
There will be a confirmation of approval in your email address. There are three answers you can receive:
- Authorization approved: It is a piece of good news that everyone wants!
- Approval on hold. In less than 72 hours, you will receive a response.
- Unauthorized trip. It does not mean that you cannot enter the United States, but you cannot travel to the country with an ESTA authorization, so you will need to go to the United States Embassy to claim or obtain another type of visa.